The herb bed has been very neglected over winter, and it was looking a sorry state. So after tackling the main beds this was my next priority. Cited at the top end, next to the main central path of the site, it’s like the shop front of my plot, and is a bit embarrassing when it looks a mess. It’s amazing how a bit of plot pride pushes you to keep up appearances. Everyone is doing such an amazing job these days, I don’t want to let the side down.
I discovered lots of new growth emerging under all the dry stems of the lavender, mint and marjoram. In the foreground here is sorrel. This is a remarkably hardy herb, I planted it a couple of years ago and it pushes out new leaves every spring without fail, and just keeps on going. The leaves have a sharp citrusy tang to them, lovely added to a salad, or used in chicken or fish dishes. I don’t use it enough really.
There are also chives coming through, oregano and marjoram starting to regrow, hyssop and lavender which I grow more for the bees than I do for myself, rosemary, sage and thyme which have all survived the winter okay.
There are also lots of little parsley plants, they self-seed in the autumn and then sit all winter waiting for a bit of spring warmth before they get going (much like the rest of us). There are a few stray tulip and daffodil bulbs interspersed through the bed, along with a few foxgloves and forget-me-nots that seem to have self-seeded from somewhere. I don’t mind though, happy for it to be a pretty bed as well as productive. And I feel I owe the bees some payback for all the work they do for me.
The circular bed is also very much for the bees, ladybirds and hoverflies. Last year, I attempted to turn it into a salad bed for various types of lettuce, spring onions and baby beetroot. It was quite successful, but over winter it has been taken over with poppy seedlings. But hey, I love poppies, the insects love poppies, so let’s have some poppies! The middle section is full of calendula seeds which will be up before I know it, and I also had some cerinthe major in there which have liberally dropped their seeds, so I’m just going to leave this to nature and we’ll see what happens. It might be beautiful, or it might be a dog’s dinner, but I have faith in nature!